Written by Molly Peterson, AMAST Content
In a recent article posted on Forbes, Fabio Ranghino (Principal and Head of Sustainability and Strategy at Ambienta), advocates for construction professionals to take the opportunity to reinvigorate their construction practices as we pick ourselves up from the COVID setback. While coronavirus makes life and work difficult now and in the near future, climate change is still the most pressing long-term threat.
It’s no surprise that the construction industry is one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis. It takes a lot of manpower and horsepower for things to get built. But sustainable adjustments to aspects of construction labor that seem essential and unavoidable might be simpler than you think.
One such adjustment is the shift to prefabrication. Ranghino describes prefabrication as “a catch-all term for assembling all or part of a building in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting it to the construction site where the structure is to be located.”
Practicing prefabrication can increase productivity by decreasing the frequency of design changes and improve the final product quality. It can also save project workers valuable time and money.
“Buildings use less materials, are built faster and have less defects.” Simple as that. It’s a win-win for environmentalists and construction workers alike.
By switching to prefabrication, teams can reduce waste by up to 90% and produce buildings that are up to 55% more energy efficient. These remarkable statistics are made even more impressive considering that they are not at the expense of construction workers’ livelihoods. Prefabrication makes the job easier and the end result better.
COVID demands an innovative response in all aspects of the construction field. In an industry that has traditionally operated on interpersonal collaboration and hard, bodily labor, many processes never before conducted online are moving into the digital sphere. Some might say that construction is finally moving into the 21st century.
The tenacious construction professional will see all of the change happening in the industry right now not as a roadblock to the way things have always been, but an opportunity to do even better.
Humans have survived for hundreds of thousands of years. We are resilient, and we will survive this pandemic. Let’s make sure the country we return to is committed to another hundred-thousand-year future.
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